Monday 29 August 2022

Seven Days

This week has mostly been a frantic scramble to get ready for our final festival of the season. Thankfully, we only had rain on Thursday so I've been able to line-dry our finds. Here's what we found on Wednesday.....

1960s Dunn & Co cossack-style hat, vintage tooled leather bag, Urban Outfitters "Feel the Love" tie-dye tee, sequinned Converse, 1970s flower power jumpsuit, a trio of vintage Failsworth tweed trilbys, Schuh leopard desert boots, milkmaid style top, 1980s Adidas shellsuit, Gabicci peacock print shirt and a 1980s St Michael velvet blazer

Zara book print shirt, vintage leather gloves and sheepskin mittens, a trio of vintage flat caps, 1980s seersucker jumpsuit, 1980s BHS shirt, 1970s suede jacket, cord workers jacket & Superdry tee shirt (both for Jon), 1970s cord jacket, cassette print shirt, 1980s canvas shirt and a Roccola floral shirt.

Here's Thursday's outfit. The Indian block print scarf was 70% off in the Summer sales, the Indian block print tote bag was a Beautiful Days purchase and my Lucky Brand dungarees & Superga plimsolls were both charity shop finds. The milkmaid top was bought the previous day - shirred tops are brilliant under dungarees and pinafores, no bulky layers or fiddling about trying to tuck stuff in.

Talking of festival purchases, these amazing snake earrings were made by Amy, our neighbour at Beautiful Days. She only started making jewellery a couple of months ago - aren't they gorgeous?

Thursday started with a half-mile swim followed by a Spoons breakfast. We had a look around the chazzas on the way home, coming back with a 1970s Indian block printed shirt, a 1980s batwing jacket by Mexx and this 1980s American-made sequinned maxi dress - I bought it for the Kinky rails but Jon told me that I looked like mermaid in it so I reckon it's a keeper! 

We were out stock hunting again on Friday morning but, needless to say, found a few bits for ourselves, too. The Kantha foot stool was originally from Wayfair and must have cost a lot more than the £5 I paid for it. I've got a bit of a basket addiction so couldn't resist another to add to the collection.

Already in situ!

Also a 1980s shirt by Ambience, an Indian block printed midi dress, suede Chelsea boots (now Jon's), Pop Boutique shirt, a 1980s handmade metallic batwing top, a metallic mohair jumper, a contemporary culotte jumpsuit made in Canada by Eva Gravel.

A hot pink pleated midi skirt by hip Scandi lifestyle brand Arket (£69 on the website), vintage boilersuit, 1980s "Classics" cotton tent dress, Clarks Originals combat boots, 1960s Lurex psych print mini dress, 1980s suede waistcoat, 1970s English-made ankle wellies and 1980s Indian cotton block printed shirt.

I wore an old favourite, a 1960s embroidered cotton maxi dress which I bought from my friend Viv a few years ago.

You knew I'd keep that tooled leather bag I bought on Wednesday, didn't you? When I was carrying it around the shop an elderly lady approached me and told me that she was thrilled that I was buying it, as she'd donated it! The Rajasthani silver hoops are my other Beautiful Days purchase.

The sunshine made a welcome return on Saturday and I squeezed in a couple of hours on the lawn in-between laundry and labelling, mending, housework and weeding . Remember Thursday's headscarf? Like the French-designed Sundress I shared on my blog the other day, it's another of those multi-purpose garments I'm always searching for to add to my travel wardrobe. I wore it as a bandeau top with a pair of £1 Topshop high waisted denim shorts acquired from the charity clearance shop on Friday morning. This summer has been the year of the shorts, I seem to have lived in them!

We were late up on Sunday morning (9am!) and after pricing the rest of the new stock, we nipped into town with a few donations for the charity shop including the books we'd recently read and the 1970s vinyl pouffe, surplus to requirements after acquiring the kantha footstool earlier in the week.

Needless to say, we came back with more than we left home with - a 1990s psych print wrap skirt and maxi dress (same designer with the tags still attached), Converse All Stars, a 1970s Peter Golding boob tube (I had a pink one with a silver lightning flash I wore to school discos!), a 1970s German-made mesh tee shirt, a ridiculous pink peacock, a 1980s "Classics" cotton smock dress (same make, style and size as the pink one I found on Friday!) and a Zara shirt for Jon.

I wore the new-with-tags Pitusa pima cotton tiered maxi dress I scored from Banardos last year for £3 (it retailed at £154.99) My hair's grown like mad since I came off the pill in January, I didn't recognise myself when I caught a back view of myself in the service station mirrors on the way back from Beautiful Days! 

My Ancient Greek "Crysso" sandals also got an outing - they currently retail for £190 but mine were new and still in their dust bags and priced at a bargainous £20 (incl.postage) Buy it Now from eBay.

Sunday afternoon was spent in a bikini and Crocs. We packed the latest stock into the van and I spent the rest of the afternoon on the lawn finishing my 53rd book of the year, another historical pageturner by Philippa Gregory. They say never judge a book by its cover and if I didn't already know and love her books, I'd never have picked up this one - it looks like some soppy romance rather than a meticulously researched Tudor epic.

Despite Monday being a bank holiday I was up and on the Wii Fit at 6am and after a mad few hours of baking, floor cleaning and blog catching-up I spent the morning sorting out my festival wardrobe dressed in my new-to-me mermaid maxi and Asbeau head dress & dancing around the bedroom to the Notting Hill Carnival special on 6Music.

It wasn't quite a normal Monday. Adrian had organised Lakeside Live, a free festival at Walsall Arboretum, so we spent a fabulous few hours in great company watching some brilliant local talent.

Lord Jon wore a Levis Western shirt and a pair of slim fit cotton shorts (both charity shop finds).

I'm wearing a gauzy cotton, vintage 1970s David Butler for Pressler maxi found in a clearance bin. The previous owner had removed the sleeves and inserted them into the side seams to increase the size so I had to unpick the whole thing and remake it from scratch. 

Living Secret

Living Secret (that's Adrian on the drums)

Passive Fix


The Therapists

Vibrant Ducks

Vibrant Ducks

Great fun and despite the forecast, the rain held off.

It's been another week of eating well for not much money. Here's the contents of our latest Lidl "Waste Not" boxes (a total spend of £3).

I discovered this monster lurking in the courgette patch when we got back from Beautiful Days....

...and despite hardly being home to water them, we've never had so many home-grown cherry tomatoes. 

Lots of tasty, scratch-cooked vegetarian food including cakes (to share with friends) and two curries which I've frozen ready to take away with us this week - if 2022 is anything like previous years there's never any time to cook, we're too busy!

Viewing-wise, we've binged on Lykkeland (State of Happiness), the wonderful Norwegian drama set during the oil boom of the 1970s and ploughed through season two of Capitani, the Luxembourgish cop thriller (okay, nothing earth-shattering). Tonight we'll be watching the final two episodes of Wild Wild Country, the riveting documentary about Osho's (aka Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) free love commune. A few years ago one of his disciples ended up living with us for a while....but that's another story.


We're off to End of the Road....see you on the other side!

Wednesday 24 August 2022

There's Only One Way Of Life

There's only one way of life and that's your own, I can't put it better than The Levellers. Festival trading isn't for everyone, the non-stop banging bass, the overflowing portaloos, the heat and the dust, the non-existent mobile reception, the 14-hour working days, the seething crowds and the utter mayhem & madness but it's the life we chose and we bloody love it.

Aloha, Bab! Jon wears a 1960s Hawaiian barkcloth shirt (Uncle Sam's, Bristol, 2016), organic cotton shorts, charity shopped Adidas hi-tops and his trusty leather cap

The Levellers founded Beautiful Days in 2003 as an antidote to the commercialism and commodification of the mainstream festivals and, nineteen years later, it has remained true to the band's vision, it's refreshingly alternative and delightfully anarchic. 

Psychedelia & sequins - vintage cotton maxi skirt (a gift from Ann & Jos, 2019), a charity-shopped bustier and some 1970s Tropical sunglasses

We left home at 8am on Tuesday arriving in Devon some three-and-a-half hours later. We spent until bedtime (and a large part of Wednesday) setting up and then, after rolling up the shop front at 10am on Thursday morning, other than nipping over to the Portaloos & popping out to say hello to a few trader friends (including Ellie and Jim of Karma Gear and Georgie of Save the Pixies), we didn't leave the stall again until Saturday night.

We'd heard varying reports from traders past and present so had no idea what to expect from the crowd at Beautiful Days but, I'm happy to say, they loved us....and we loved them! 

I wish I could have photographed everyone who visited us, tried and buyed (is that even a word?) So many incredible people all with beautiful, unique style. It was lovely to meet blog reader Julie, too!

My visit to Glastonbury trader neighbours, Asbeau, ended in a purchase - a festival headdress handmade by the astonishingly talented Kathryn.

People already say I look like a goddess in this 1970s silver lurex maxi Bernshaw maxi bought from Moseley Vintage Hub pals, Steve and Graziella back in 2018, but now I've been transformed into the High Priestess of Vintage. It was a struggle not to wear my headpiece to Lidl this morning.

Everyone wants to buy the shirts off Jon's back - the 1960s Luvisca leisure shirt (bought from Mel at Moseley Vintage Fair in 2018) is a particular favourite.

He found this 1980s Danish-made beauty printed with Moghul emperors and frolicking horses in a Walsall charity shop just before we flew to Rhodes last year.

This 1970s Hollywood Charmer, California-made maxi used to belong to my friend Cheryl.  I bought these handmade turquoise tasseled earrings from a lovely trader called Jan at Cornbury last month.

There were loads of bands I wanted to see but we were too busy to escape from the stall but we closed at 10pm on Saturday night so we could catch The Specials. The capacity for Beautiful Days is 17,500 and I'm pretty sure almost all of them had the same idea as us, it was so rammed it felt like Glastonbury.

Thankfully, unlike Glastonbury, the temperature didn't drop much at night although Jon nicked this 1980s Kangol bucket hat and Free People fleece from the rails just to be on the safe side.

My camera is brilliant by day but useless by night - hence the grainy images.

Sunday's theme was Peace and Love and our mates Jo and Daron (aka Old's Cool Traders) popped in to show us their outfits.

How exciting! Headliner, Katy T Pearson dropped in before playing the Big Top stage, bought a couple of things and told us that our stock was absolutely amazing

I escaped from the stall to catch her act and was beyond excited to see her wearing the 1980s midi dress she'd just bought from us on stage!

If you're not familiar with the Bristolian singer songwriter do check her out here.

I love spotting our stock being worn around festivals - this incredible 1960s linen dress was snapped up on the first day. We even saw a waistcoat and a old skool sports top we'd sold at Glastonbury. 

We'd never met our trading neighbours, Fairtrade Fairy before but by strange coincidence, I'd bought some Indian silver tribal earrings from their Etsy shop in the past and I bought another pair this year.

Jon hanging around behind the stall next to the washing-up area. There was a babbling brook and an empty field behind the fencing - a nice change not to be hemmed in by tents.

As is usual at a festival, I remained barefoot for most of the weekend (toilet visits aside). The sequinned polo neck was a frivolous charity shop purchase a couple of days before we left so I felt like I had to wear it to justify the £2.50 I spent even though it wasn't really sleeve weather. 

We joined everyone else and watched The Levellers closing the festival over on the main stage before oohing and ahhing over the spectacular firework display.

Despite trading within a few yards of each other at Glastonbury, it was the first time we'd met our neighbours, Spud & Nikki of Bournemouth's Rocket Records and we got along like a house on fire, meeting up on both Saturday and Sunday night for a dance. 

This has been my early morning visit to the Portaloos outfit at every festival this summer - camo, Christian Dior and Crocs (and my ridiculous vintage sunglasses to hide the puffy eyes). The John Galliano-era tattoo print nightie was a surprise from lovely blog reader Tricia and I felt very glam in it despite me not having had a wash for almost a week!

Despite selling loads, drinking all our booze and most of our food, it still took us six hours to pack down the stalol and another four-and-a-half to drive home - stopping at the legendary Gloucester services for posh sandwiches and crisps. We spent Tuesday washing our clothes, scrubbing the Gala tent and sorting fresh stock ready for our final festival of the season which is now less than a week away (sob!)

Beautiful Days, we loved you! See you next year.